I consider myself a left-leaning Libertarian-ish. For the most part, I agree with most of their platform, with exceptions. When some of you think "Libertarian" you automatically assume we're anarchists, which is untrue. Although most of us would love to "maximize" our freedoms as much as possible, I realize we do need government to simply keep balances and checks, including themselves. However, from personal experiences at the local political level, I can vouch that government has grown too big to even govern themselves. The more laws, regulations, etc. that you impose, the more officials and employees you must hire, raise taxes to pay these people, and then figure out how to manage them, and thus a vicious cycle. Eventually, government hits a breaking point. There's no more blank checks.
EducationVitally important to me. It's a global economy, and if you want to compete globally, then you must educate your people. It's really that simple. However, as with most government programs, it's extremely inefficient. Depending upon your source, 50% to 75% of our U.S. tax dollars spent on public education doesn't even make it into the classroom. In other words, at least half is spent on administration. Absolutely ridiculous. Private companies can't afford this, so how can our government?
What I also find absurd is when budget cuts are needed, they hand it off to these useless/worthless administrators to handle, so they start cutting the important jobs first, our teachers, to save their own asses. Not how it's usually done in the private sector. I know, because I've worked in the private sector for over two decades. When done correctly, managers and supervisors are usually demoted or laid off first, simply because they aren't usually creating company assets themselves.
The average median income for school superintendents is almost $150k/year (http://www1.salary.com/School-Superintendent-Salaries.html), yet they'll lay off teachers who make about a third of that salary (http://www1.salary.com/Public-School-Teacher-Salary.html) instead of reducing or eliminating the salary of school superintendents. Stop paying these school superintendents these unproportionate salaries. Start eliminating administrative jobs. If at least 75% of our tax dollars allocated aren't going directly back into the classroom, then you might as well be burning our money in the schoolyard.
Minimum WageI have mixed opinions about minimum wage and how it effects our economy on different levels. On one hand, you can quickly and easily research the percentage growth of CEO salaries versus the stagnant growth of yearly incomes of average Americans, and how it also has become disproportionate over the last several decades. So our government wants to play "Robin Hood" and take from the wealthy to distribute this wealth to the lower income classes. Does it make it right? Perhaps, which is why I'm on the fence here. However, I'm not blind to the consequences, either.
For one, liberal leftists seem to hate these rich CEOs of these monopolized corporations, yet raising minimum wages only creates bigger and fewer monopolies because these small "mom and pop" shops can no longer afford to pay their workers. Seems "back asswards" to me. So it only makes sense to me that reducing or eliminating minimum wage would have the opposite effect, although I'm no economist. But I do have many family members who owned their own private businesses, only to be driven out of business because they can't compete on different levels, including wages. I do know that wages consume much of what a company pays, more so than other expenses, such as bills, rent, etc. To me, raising minimum wage only create bigger monopolies and fewer businesses - what liberal leftists claim to hate but created themselves.
Secondly, there's fewer businesses that have to compete with workers wages, so it's not like you have tons of choices like you did several decades ago. It's hard to threaten your current employer that you'll leave if they don't give you a pay raise when they know there's few places for you to go. That's called the free market, and not only works well with good and services, but also pay wages, too.
So how do you fix this problem of equalizing wealth among your citizens without creating these corporate monopolies? I'm completely open to any suggestions!
TaxesThis topic really burns me. Our tax system is so convoluted, and I honestly believe it's done on purpose. If I were to rewrite our tax code, it could probably fit on one page. For one, I'd have both a flat and fair tax systems.
First, I'd have a fixed 1% federal sales tax on all sales, much like a state sales tax. This percentage can never be changed. Ever. If anyone buys anything legally here in the U.S., regardless if you're a citizen or not, you're paying into the system. Period.
Secondly, I'd have a flat income tax percentage, perhaps based upon income. I haven't decided on any definite figures, but just created a spreadsheet of a very aggressive, progressive tax based upon your yearly income. Of course, I believe that if you're paying over 50% in taxes, then that's way too much! I'd prefer to keep it no more than 25%, personally.